Book Reviews for June 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey
By E L James
Published by Arrow
£7.99 less £1
When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out. Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more. But Grey is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Grey keeps hidden away from public view.

A Deniable Death
By Gerald Seymour
Published by Hodder
£6.99 less £1
Covert Rural Observation Posts are places where men like Danny ‘Badger’ Baxter hide for endless, motionless hours, secretly recording criminal or terrorist activity. But now Badger has a bigger job than photographing dissident Republicans in muddy Ulster fields or Islamic extremists on rainswept Yorkshire moors. Improvised Explosive Devices are the roadside bombs which account for 80% of British casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. MI6 have a plan to assassinate the leading maker of these weapons when he leaves his house in Iran to visit Europe. But first, they need to know when he is leaving, and where he is going. So it is that Badger finds himself on the wrong side of the Iranian border, lumbered with a partner he loathes, lying under a merciless sun in a mosquito-infested marsh, observing the house and knowing that if they are caught, Her Majesty’s Government will deny all knowledge of them.

The Lady of the Rivers
By Philippa Gregory
Published by Simon and Schuster
£7.99 less £1
Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou’s close friend and a Lancaster supporter – until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.

White Wedding
By Milly Johnson
Published by Simon & Schuster
£6.99 less £1
It’s the day they’ve always dreamed about. But will it turn out to be a nightmare … ?
Bel is in the midst of planning her perfect wedding when disaster strikes and everything she thought she knew is turned on its head. Can she hold it all together and with the help of her friends and a mysterious man she meets unexpectedly, turn disaster into triumph?
Bel’s friend, ice-cream parlour owner Violet, is engaged to Glyn, who is besotted by her although Violet fell out of love with him long ago. But she can’t quite say the words, ‘I don’t want to marry you anymore.’ Then, just when she’s about resign herself to married life, she finds love in the most surprising of places.
Max was planning a quick registry office do with her fiancé Stuart until she sees a TV programme about traveller brides and becomes determined to have the most extravagantly glitzy wedding ever. Does she want the wedding more than she wants the groom?
And as all three friends find the dress of their dreams at the White Wedding bridal shop, its owner, the lovely Freya, guarantees that her gowns will bring them happiness – though maybe not quite in the way they expected …